When the Scam Artists Come Calling: Sales Lead Generation Companies Hitting Tornado-Ravaged Rowlett Homeowners, Posing as a Roofing Company

There are good, legitimate, local roofing companies…and then there are roofing scam artists who give roofers a bad name. The same holds true for direct marketing companies. And unfortunately, the recent tornadoes in Rowlett and Garland have brought out both types of companies who give their industries a bad name.

We have been warning North Texas homeowners for years about the top 5 roofing red flags to watch out for. One of those involves direct marketing companies who are focused on gaining sales lead they sell to other companies.

3) Sales Lead Generation Companies

A newer type of scam reported to NTRCA is one where lead generation companies, disguised as “roofing damage experts” call areas that have received storm damage. They call and use a script that carefully avoids identifying themselves by a company name and tell homeowners “we’ll be in your area next week.” When the homeowner agrees to an appointment with the no-name company, that company turns around and sells the lead to a roofing company, which could be a legitimate roofing contractor…or not. NTRCA recommends that if consumers get a call like this that they simply ask, “What company are you representing?” and “What is your address?” If they hesitate or side-step the question, NTRCA recommends that the homeowner simply hang up.

Since we wrote about this, we’ve seen a new tactic called “Caller ID Spoofing,” where companies that are NOT local are cold calling homeowners, making it look like the call is coming from a 972-412-xxxx exchange, a popular prefix in Rowlett.

Dallas Morning News writer Dave Lieber brought this to light in a recent article and reported: “Someone was calling Rowlett residents last week and saying they were going to be in the recipient’s neighborhood looking at damaged roofs. They asked if the call recipient would be home.” When Lieber tried to call the 10 numbers one homeowner gave him, most didn’t answer or weren’t working. One had a voicemail greeting stating that if they received a call from the number, it wasn’t them and that their number had been spoofed.

It’s most likely that whoever is calling Rowlett residents with a vague sales pitch to get appointments to look at roofs may or may not be a roofing company.

“The ‘lead generation company’ may be a company in Canada or Mexico or some offshore location,” says Don Williams, who has been in the direct marketing industry for 30 years and is the president of Alliance, a professional call center services company located in Hurst, Texas. “Or it could be a one-person operation who generates their own leads and sells their ‘discards’ to their competitors.”

Caller ID Spoofing is not illegal, but calling a number on the Do Not Call (DNC) registry is.

“Out of 17,399 definite or probable homeowners within the City of Rowlett, 15,452 (88%) are DNC or unlisted, with most being DNC,” said Williams. “That means that only 1,947 phones are legally callable.”

Some tips for homeowners who may receive these kinds of calls:

  • If you get an unsolicited call and you are on the DNC, violations can be reported to (www.donotcall.gov)
  • If you get a call from a roofing company or someone claiming that they’ll be in your area looking at roofs and you are not on the DNC list, ask them: “What company are you representing?” and “What is your address?” If they hesitate or side-step the question, we recommend that you simply hang up.
  • Always do your research before hiring a roofing contractor. Unlike plumbers, electricians or even hair stylists, the state of Texas does not have any kind of licensing or registration for roofers or general contractors in Texas.
  • Use this List of Questions from NTRCA as a guide to help you select a roofer (click here for the list of questions in Spanish).
  • Don’t let a contractor rush you into signing a contract.
  • Do not hand over your insurance check to anyone. And do not pay a deposit until materials are delivered.
  • Read about the Top 5 Roofing scams to look out for in North Texas.
  • Despite all our warnings about the bad guys out there, there are plenty of good, local roofing contractors too. Choose a contractor who is a member of a trade association such as NTRCA. Our members MUST be local and meet other important requirements plus agree to abide by our code of ethics in order to become and stay a member.
  • Finally, keep in mind that legitimate companies use local Caller ID (aka spoofing) too. The difference is that the legitimate company answers that number when you call back (required by law). The legitimate use of numbers provides advertisers (who may be located in the area, in a neighboring city or another state) a method to track response, sales, ROI, etc.  

Get more advice or search for an NTRCA member at www.ntrca.com.

North Texas Roofing Contractors Association Announces Golden Hammer Award Winners and 16th Annual Awards Banquet to Be Held February 6, 2016

Fort Worth, TX – January 19, 2016 – The North Texas Roofing Contractors Association (NTRCA), a regional association for residential and commercial roofing contractors who maintain the highest industry standards, today announced that the 16th Annual NTRCA Awards Banquet will be held on Saturday, February 6, 2016 at the AT&T Stadium, located at 1 AT&T Way in Arlington, Texas. The banquet will begin at 6:00 p.m. and will include cocktails, dinner, dancing, award presentations, raffles, karaoke and casino night fun. 

NTRCA will also present its annual Golden Hammer Awards during the evening, to recognize outstanding roofing projects completed in 2015. Entries are judged each year on logistical challenges, quality workmanship, uniqueness, difficulty, time constraints, innovative solutions and safety challenges. 

This year’s contractors selected to win the Golden Hammer Award for Community Service Projects are: Brettco Roofing for their work on the Sharon Thompson residence and Supreme Roofing for its work on Sunshine Village, a nonprofit organization.

Commercial Contractors winning a Golden Hammer Award this year are: Castro Roofing for its work on the SMU Owen Arts Center; KPost Company for its work on the AT&T Stadium Logo; and Supreme Roofing for its work on the Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Irving, Texas.

Residential Contractors being awarded a Golden Hammer this year are: Buzz Roofing & Construction for its work on the Guinnup residence; Roofing Giant for its work on the Schmaltz residence; and Showtime Exteriors for its work on the Granger residence.

Scott Exteriors is being awarded the 2nd Annual Green Roofing Golden Hammer Award for their work on a LEED high efficiency home with metal roofing, trim & siding.

During the event, the NTRCA 2016 Board of Directors and this year's Associate of the Year and Industry Leader award winners will also be announced and honored.

Sponsors for the 16th Annual NTRCA Awards Banquet include: ABC Supply Co. Inc. (lead sponsor); C-CAP, representing Firestone Building Products (cocktail sponsors); CertainTeed (dinner sponsor); Wholesale Roofing Supply - a Beacon Roofing Supply Company (casino sponsor); West End Roofing, Siding & Windows - a Beacon Roofing Supply Company (bar sponsor); Owens Corning (decoration sponsor); ThermaFoam LLC (happiness sponsor); GAF Materials Corporation (photography sponsor); Venture Roofing Supply (raffle sponsor); ER Systems (dessert sponsor); KPost Roofing & Waterproofing (favor sponsor); IKO (karaoke sponsor); Hunter Panels and MHBT (gold sponsors); and Johns Mansville, Malarkey Roofing Products, Roofing Giant and Sherman-Williams (silver sponsors).

Associate table sponsors include: C-CAP, DTEC Equipment, Independent Insurance Group, Roofing Supply Group - a Beacon Roofing Supply Company, Southern Shingles and Spec Building Materials.

Contractor table sponsors include: Brettco Roofing, Castro Roofing, Empire Roofing, Frazier Roofing, Lon Smith Roofing, MRB Contractors, Springtree Roofing & Restoration, Supreme Roofing and Texas Roof Management.

Sponsorships are still available. Individual member tickets are $185 ($200 for non-members). Registration will close on Tuesday, February 1, 2016 at 12:00 noon. For more information or to purchase tickets or tables, please visit www.ntrca.com

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About the North Texas Roofing Contractors Association

The North Texas Roofing Contractors Association (NTRCA) is a resource for roofing contractors and associates working and doing business in North Texas. NTRCA also serves as a resource for individuals and businesses looking for qualified and competent roofing contractors. Roofing professionals must meet NTRCA eligibility requirements and adhere to the NTRCA code of ethics in order to be members of the organization. NTRCA holds monthly Lunch and Learn meetings, quarterly educational training sessions, mentoring and more for its members. For more information, please visit www.ntrca.com.

Media Contact:

Kelly Kirkendoll

Thrive PR 

817.236.6075

kelly@thrivepublicrelations.com